Housed in a lovely old building dating back to 1901 (downright ancient in Pacific Northwest terms), the Kimpton Alexis Hotel Seattle adds a dash of tech and trendiness without compromising on classic elegance.
The rooms here mix original interior architecture with modern touches for which the Kimpton brand is increasingly known and still retain some original features, such as exposed brick walls. And by modern amenities, I’m particularly referring to the Amazon Echo Dots that come standard in every room. These little artificial intelligence-powered machines play the role of virtual concierges, responding to voice commands to give details on everything from restaurant recommendations to basic hotel information such as check-out times.
After spending quite a bit of time testing out my in-room device, my imagination began running wild. At one point, I had the irrational (or was it?) notion that the Echo Dot in my room might be gathering data from my conversations in order to fine-tune my guest profile and I shut her off for the night.
While the presence of an Echo Dot certainly made the time I spent in my room a bit more fun, the décor and sheer elegance of the guest rooms is what really stuck with me long after my stay. I ended up in an enormous, 775-square-foot Executive Suite, complete with a gigantic living room with a crushed velvet sofa, a work desk, a dining room tables, and floor-to-ceiling windows. While the overall vibe was elegant and stately, but not stuffy, there were a few added touches that gave the space a funkier feel, including colorful in-room yoga mats and plush white terrycloth bathrobes with tiger-print trim.
The amenities at this hotel aren’t too shabby either. One of the biggest things that initially drew me to this hotel was the presence of a climbing wall in the gym, complete with polished wooden holds – ideal for a bit of indoor rock climbing practice on a rainy Seattle day.
I was equally excited about stopping for a Moscow mule at the lobby-level Bookstore Bar & Café, a charming cocktail lounge with a vintage-style brass bar and walls lined with old leather-bound books. However, what I wasn’t expecting at all before showing up at the Alexis was that there would be a perfumery on the ground floor of the hotel, right at the front entryway. I spent a good hour taking in the aromas at this privately run boutique and spotted plenty of rare scents that I’d only previously seen in Europe.
Rates run from $175 to $515 plus taxes and Seattle Tourism Improvement Area fees. Wi-Fi is free, but parking costs extra. Pets are welcome in some rooms with advance notice. Book directly on the hotel website or through a site such a Priceline or Travelocity.
All photos courtesy of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.